Written by Dr. Chetan Ginigeri
As a parent of a school-going child, you must be worried about certain things. Child bullying at school is definitely one of them. Some parents are concerned as their child is being bullied. And some are concerned as their child is a part of the bullying. Whatever it is you need to know how to tackle it.
There are certain signs your child displays that can indicate that they are being bullied at school. As a parent, you must pay attention to such signs and take necessary actions if their behavior worsens. At the same time, you can prepare your kid for such situations. Here we will know in detail why kids bully and get bullied and what are the signs of bullying. And we will also give you some tips to build up the confidence of your kid to cope with such situations.
In This Article
When your kid is either verbally or physically threatened by someone, then it is called bullying. In schools often shy kids get bullied by a group of other kids who believe themselves to be superior.
The main motivation behind bullying is to enjoy power over others. It is a human instinct and kids are not spared from it. They feel superior and powerful if they can influence their classmates and make them do what they want.
One other reason behind a child turning into a bully is an existing stressful situation at home. They could have parents who ill-treat them someone else could have treated them wrong and they try to get peace by treating the same others.
Even if the parents do not bully the kid, it is the overall atmosphere of the home that affects a lot the child’s psychology. If the parents argue and abuse each other verbally or physically, if the parents are separated, then the kid may get bad influences.
According to UNICEF, often the bully belongs to a position of power or has a higher social status. The bully is usually physically stronger, bigger, or rich. For bullying, they usually target only one child who is comparatively weak and timid or has any disability or looks distinct from others. This weakness of that child then becomes the triggering point for the bully.
The identification of bullying becomes quite tricky sometimes. This is because bullying doesn’t always mean physical torture. It can involve mental harassment and your kid may not want to share it with you.
So to pinpoint such a situation you need to take care of when you find;
Whenever you notice such signs, get alarmed. Talk to the class teacher and school authority as this childhood trauma can lead to lifelong depression.
If your kid is facing bullies or you just want him/her to be prepared for it, here is some advice you can make them follow. Teach your children the following pointers to help them avoid the negative effects of bullying.
Do not give importance to a bully’s words. No matter how much they try to make you ashamed of yourself, stay positive. Always remind your plus points.
If you shed tears that means you lose. Instead, answer the bully with bravery and show that you don’t care about what s/he says. For example, if they taunt you by calling you “fatty” just say that “yeah, I think I need to do more workouts”.
This is the best way to prevent bullying. If they try to make fun of you laugh out with them. They don’t find it interesting anymore.
Not everyone is willing to bully you. Maybe they want to make you a friend. Do not judge before you know. Talk nicely and you can get nice behavior in return.
[Read : 7 Ways To Bully-proof Your Child]
The best way to protect your kid from bullying is to build up their self-confidence. As bullies target weak and shy kids, you should make your kid strong for such situations. You should praise your child’s every achievement. And you need to teach your kid that there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Encourage them for their hobbies, push them towards sports and extracurricular activities. This will build up their self-confidence. Show your love and appreciation for them so that no one can hurt their self-esteem.
According to American Psychological Association or APA, if the situation gets beyond your child’s control and it starts hampering your child’s mental health then you should take some actions.
The steps you should take are:
If the matter is of mere teasing or jesting or trivial fighting, then ask for the offender’s parents to meet up for some time. Then help the kids build up a better relationship between themselves in your presence. In case of a more serious issue request the offender’s parents to take action to pacify their kid.
If your kid is facing bullying inside the school or by classmates or seniors, then you must inform the school authority. Schools then will take action according to their bullying preventive measures. But if the school doesn’t have such facilities then the teachers and parents will need to join hands to cure the situation.
Tell your child how to deal with such circumstances. You can even role-play as a bully to practice this with your kid.
The Bottom Line
So the best defense against child bullying at school is to make your child prepare for it. Build up the self-confidence of your kid, give their words priority so that they can never feel alone and less important.
You can teach them to agree with it or laugh it out when someone tries to tease your kid. You can also advise them to either complain to the school authority or inform you.
The Republic Act 10627 or simply the Anti-Bullying Act protects kids of kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools against bullying.
You should immediately talk to the parents of the child or children involved in it. You should strictly warn them as well as your kid to not be further involved in physical fighting.
Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.